Mile 1392: Camp Floyd

“The station was located within John Carson’s Inn in Fairfield and saw use for both the Express and stage travel. The adobe building was built in 1858. It is still standing, has a wooden facade, and is open to the public as a Utah State Park. It was operated by the family until 1947. Such personages as Horace Greeley, Mark Twain, Sir Richard Burton, Porter Rockwell, Bill Hickman, and General (then Colonel) Albert Johnston stopped at the inn.

“In 1885, John Carson and his brothers, along with John Williams, William Beardshall and John Clegg, established Fairfield and Cedar City Fort. The latter was constructed as a private protective compound. It was adjacent to Fairfield that Camp Floyd, named for Secretary of War John B. Floyd, was established in November of 1858. Camp Floyd was the second military establishment in Utah and was commanded by Colonel Albert Johnston. (The first military reservation in Utah was established in Rush Valley, near present day Stockton, in 1853, by Colonel Steptoe. Its objective was to establish a military route to California and to investigate the Gunnison Massacre.)

“Captain Simpson, Senior Engineering Officer at Camp Floyd, designed the overland stage route from Salt Lake City to San Francisco.

“With a population of 7,000 — 3,000 of which were soldiers — Fairfield was the third largest city in the territory. Boasting 17 saloons, wild Fairfield catered to soldiers and the army payroll.”